Sunday, March 31, 2013
I could tell that Quita was a bit frustrated to have just today to edit together her final piece-- she'd missed class once and come in late on Monday, but in the end, she really brought it all together. She is so self-aware and attentive! Even as she said, "I feel rushed!" she browsed through bug sounds, selected a cricket, layered it in at varied volumes, re-recorded her "knock on wood," kept her cool as clips got accidentally deleted when she tried to move them around, and calmly re-imported them.She does want to put her piece on cowbird, but unfortunately we ran out of time. I'm glad that Charlie will be able to help her post it.
I'm looking forward to returning on the 15th!
Saturday, March 30, 2013
Friday, March 29, 2013
Take a listen to these for our (Caleb and Callie's) Learning Circle:
(This fourth one is a little longer but it is thought of as a Short within the RadioLab program. We also included it in, not only because it is really interesting but also there are also many shorter stories within the pieces about the same guy. This is because we find out that it is not one simple story, but rather many which adds to an understanding of this man's life.)
Pay attention to the different ways people can tell a short story.
How do they put in emotion?
How does it change when it is one narrator versus multiple people?
How does the length of a piece effect it?
How do the audio effects in the very short pieces compare to those in the longer ones?
Does the music distract or direct the story? Why do you think they made this decision if they chose to include music?
Assigned Listening (for April 3rd):
1. "If" (7 min) By: Shere DeLys
2. "Eat Cake" (10 min) By: Jonathan Mitchell http://www.jonathanmitchellmusic.com/radio_files/EATCAKE_final.mp3
3. "Practice, Practice, Practice" (9 min) By: Stanzi Vaubel
Things to think about:
2. "Eat Cake"
3. "Practice Practice Practice"
1. "99% Invisible" podcast
2. Third coast session: "Music as a force for good and sometimes evil"
3. "Jad's Brain"
4. "Dramatic Scoring for Radio"
Personally, I really enjoyed my experience at Brightmoor. A few times it was a little challenging to keep Brook and Devante engaged but I'm so glad I was able to work on this project. It gives you a whole different perspective on the medium when you are trying to involve and teach it to someone else. This is not only patience, but also you must break it down and look at it again with new eyes, as well as pay more attention to how sound and story is told differently and can effect others differently, rather than just how you see (or hear) it yourself. I think I have learned a great deal through this process and I think that the combination of our class and their class has been an overall success.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
I don't really think I struggled with anything in the past few sessions, I've found everything to move smoothly, and everything got done pretty quickly. On some days it was hard to get them motivated (someday, maybe they will learn the powers of coffee), but I managed to get them to power through it and finish their pieces. They both seemed happy once they were uploaded, and are looking forward to our baked goods we bring next time :)
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
I think Shelby and I will be able to work as a team on Monday to show Janajia and Unique the next few steps of the process.
Some more reflections:
These past two work days were a little hectic, and I think that was because we transitioned from recording and creating material to editing material. My group is naturally excitable and expressive, and learning software just isn’t as engaging as brainstorming and recording stories. On Wednesday, Unique came late to the class, and I had to leave Shelby and Janajia alone while we got her caught up, and for the first time it was hard to keep the two of them on track and focused. My whole group is naturally very outgoing and chatty. It’s definitely helping me learn about guidance and teaching. I found myself really trying to use the tidbits of advice from early in the semester, especially the ones about keeping on target. What helped was letting them know the plans for next sessions. It was easier after I told them that next time we’d be recording as well as editing their own work.
I think that day informed Shelby’s view of editing, making him view it as something detached from our previous work. I hope that by giving him the individual attention and having him hear his own voice, he’ll help me get the rest of the group enthusiastic. I remember I was talking to him about sound editing for movies, and panning sounds back and forth in stereo was a feature you can use in Garageband. The discussion got pretty animated, and it was nice to have the individual time like that. Because of the group of three my attention was stretched a bit that Wednesday, and it was nice to just have time to get to know each other's interests. I'm going to ask him on Monday about keeping this audio work alive in school in some kind of club format.
Wednesday, the two of them were both more comfortable working with GarageBand. Although they were more comfortable it was a little difficult to get them more enthused about continuing to work. I learned that the students (just like myself) get tired of listening to the same thing over and over again. Instead of being overly persistent and almost "forcibly" trying to get them to work, I gradually got them to begin working.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Here's the most recent version of my Planetarium piece.
In the beginning of the piece, I want the audience to blindly trust the narrator. They at first believe that she has only good intentions. But as the piece goes on, I'd like them to begin to question the narrator's mental stability and motives. By the end, they should recognize the narrator as a kind of cult leader.
In the book that these phrases come from, the reader can almost immediately recognize that the author is a bit of a lunatic. I like the idea of letting that realization come about more slowly in a sound piece.
A concern last week was that the piece was too long, or that the music became monotonous.
I think that with this new arrangement of phrases, that problem has been fixed, but let me know if you think otherwise, or if you have any ideas for fixing it up!
Quita had a breakthrough on Wednesday. She'd been feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of trying to pick a story, but thought that she might like to talk about seasons. She described what she loves about summer, and then, suddenly, she said, "I want to talk about bugs!" We're going to record some bug sounds to add in on Monday.
Rick'ayshia was working more on editing her high school stereotypes piece, but when I came back to check on her after recording with Quita, she told me that she wanted to change her story. I wonder if this was because I mentioned that the stories would be shared with the class, although I'm not sure if that is really the issue. She said that she would rather talk about her best friend and I saw that she had done some writing. We will record on Monday and go from there. The editing should be straightforward because she is already comfortable bringing together tape from multiple takes.
Overall, I feel so fortunate to be working with these two young women. Both have really wowed me with their moments of off-the-cuff courage and voice. It's great to hear them reflect on their high school environment, and point out the things that they like and don't like. The challenge has come in the moments where I try to help them reflect on their own voice/story. Especially the past couple of sessions I've wondered: What is the best way to help them hear without telling them what to hear? It is beautiful to watch them listening to themselves though. It seems that now, when we're so used to seeing digital pictures of ourselves pop up in social media, it takes something different, like sound recording, to really notice yourself in that way.
Rick'ayshia has chosen to work more independently, but it's been great to have Quita open up to me a bit. She's asked me about college, and shared her aspiration to study to become a nurse, and eventually earn her graduate degree. I've heard her talk about how tired she is from working at Red Lobster til pretty late on school nights, and how disappointing it is when she can't go to basketball games with her friends when she has to work. It must be difficult to balance things as she does. I've realized how early the opportunities I've had began.
Friday, March 22, 2013
So here is Kaleiah talking about a time when she was really sick last year. We did some writing together and this is a recording of her reading that. I also interviewed her about it too so there is more tape to go through.
And now time for some reflection:
Monday was a complete turn around from how it has been going in my group so far. Jaylen was the only student who was present and so I was able to focus a lot of my attention on his story. He picked up how to use garageband really quickly and seemed into it. We hadn't done any recording yet though so we went back to the classroom. Like I said we had previously done some writing together as a group. He had responded to the question "if you were a song what kind of song would you be." Jaylen said he would be a motivational song which just really tugged at my heart strings for some reason. However from there the interview went to an unexpected place. I came to find out that he is an avid chess player which is so interesting because he had been talking about listening to Eminem to get pumped up for his tournaments. It blew me away. It also made me feel like maybe if I had taken the time to ask him what his interests are I would know more about him. Regardless, it was a great day and I feel like I really got to know Jaylen a lot better. It was nice to interact with him on a one-on-one basis and spend most of the class period just talking.
Wednesday was a little more difficult because Kaleiah hadn't yet had the chance to record anything. We went to the cafeteria and did the interview there. It was kind of challenging to work on her story together, primarily because I am pretty squeamish. It was curious that she choose that story to tell because it feels like it still makes her sad and was a really unpleasant point in her life. I wasn't entirely sure how to direct the interview and am wondering what the rest of you think of the tape? Let me know because I would value some more opinions. Overall though we are definitely making progress and moving forward with the projects together. I'm excited to hear what everyone else came up with as well.
I think that De'Ontae is finished editing his story. He seems satisfied with what he has and I can sense that he feels that he is finished, but would still like to explore recording himself more. I feel that some of his edits are not exactly perfect, but I think that they work well enough in the piece. If anyone listens to this and thinks that I should give him more coaching in trimming the piece, please let me know.
Robert just began editing his piece with ten minutes of class to go, and this is where he ended up with it. Seeing that his piece is different than the others because it is a poem. I had suggested to him that he might play around with pauses, volumes, and possibly repeating clips. In my Planetarium piece, I've been doubling tracks and using it to create an echo, in order to create a more reflective sort of mood. I've heard this done in other pieces as well, and I really like the effect it has. I explained it to Robert as a possible way that he could play with his piece. In his beginning edit, he began to play with this and decided to overlap two different takes of his poem being read. The problem is that, we have done probably five different takes of him reading this poem, but we have yet to find a place in the school where we could record without any distracting noises in the background. But Robert seems to be having a lot of fun now that he's editing, and what's important really is his exploration of the medium, so I think I'm going to let my worries over the audio quality go and let him get creative with what he has.
Bria wasn't there this Wednesday, so I don't have a clip for her.
This week has been harder than other weeks. It has been hard for me to figure out a) what I could suggest to the students to make their pieces better b) whether I should push them in a certain direction or ust sit back and see what happens c) how much they are going to be capable of doing within the limited time that we have together, and d) how to instruct them on Garageband, a software that I do not have as much experience with as I would like.
I think overall, it has helped me to remember that what the goal of this project is; to introduce a new creative medium (sound), and to give the students the tools to create something in this medium that they are proud of.
Despite my worries, I can se that my students are engaged in the learning process and are proud of what they are making, and so I think we are nearing our goal.
I've really enjoyed the time at DCHS, I've had a lot of fun and have gotten a little taste of the joys and challenges of teaching!
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Brittany's piece is coming along well. She mentioned she might want to re-record some things, maybe come up with a closing reflective sentence. With one more session she will probably be done with this.
Chante on the other hand, I'm having more trouble with. She doesn't take the interviewing seriously, and wasn't too keen on editing her piece in Garageband. Next session I will probably try to focus more on her, making sure she's getting her piece edited/doing more recording if need be. Any ideas of what I should try with her?
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Monday, March 18, 2013
John Cage "Rozart Mix"
The score for Rozart Mix consists of 12 tape recorders and a minimum of 88 tape loops; the loops may be of any sounds.
From a primarily spoken-word album created in 1995, uses voice alteration and background music heightened at certain times.
Radiolab - Musical Language www.radiolab.orgIn this hour of Radiolab, we examine the line between language and music.
Listen to the introduction to this radiolab piece about musical language. It isn't so much in an experimental format, but it shows how small changes like repetition can transform a simple phrase into song.
Here is a whole podcast about experimental podcasts which features 5 sound artists using the same medium in very different ways.
Things to think about:
What kind of mood did John Cage's piece put you in? How did it change as the piece continued? There was very little spoken word in the piece, could you put meaning to the tape? Or not?
Comparatively, what moods did Anderson's piece evoke? Did you find the music in the background distracting? Or did it add suspense? How did you react to the ouija board voice?
From the radiolab piece: Do you think the content of the line is received differently after looping it over and over again? How do you think this technique could be used in other work? What do you think that could achieve? and from the experimental podcasts?
What podcast did you find most compelling?
What do you think a traditional podcast sounds like and how you think these artists pushed away from that?
Pirate Radio, Rick Moody, Emily Botein, Shere DeLys (under Resources on ctools)
Gregory Whitehead, Ice Music (under Resources)
UBU Web: sound (a huge collection of historical and contemporary sound artists)
A brief history of sound art (New Music Box)
Examples on HowSound.org
Julius Knipl Radio Cartoons (a few are posted under Resources on ctools)
Duplex Planet series, David Greenberger
Thursday, March 14, 2013
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
So this is my attempt at making a poem from text out of my astrobiology book.
Is it too nonsensical?
Is the music behind it enough or should I add something?
Does my tone of voice work well with the content?
Any other suggestions are more than welcome.
So this draft is still so rough. I don't think I have enough tape for this piece to work without my voice or other voices. I am struggling with only using just what I have now. I really want this piece to be about getting tucked in at night and bedtime rituals. I'm just not sure how it's doing right now though. I started writing some memories from when I was a kid. My mom and my sister and I used to do this thing every night when she was tucking us in and it went a little something like this.
My mom: Night. I love youuuu.
Me: No I love you more.
Mom: No I love you the most.
Me: Yeah well I love you more than the whole wide universe.
My mom: Then guess what? I love you to infinity and beyond.
And then she would turn out the lights.
I was thinking about using that as my intro (it might be a nice connection to the stars as well). And then having a little bit of narration about bedtime rituals. Cue the clips of my nieces and my older sister's voice about what it's like to tuck them in. And then I was thinking about doing one more interview to round it out? What do you all think? Is that too much or do you think there is a way for the above tape to work alone?
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
Sunday, March 10, 2013
The piece starts out with a sort of intro before the base rhythm kicks in. Do you think that this intro is too long? Does the piece flow well when in this structure?
At some points you can hear the base player talking. Is this too distracting? Should I play around with adding more far-off voices?
What phrases caught you off guard or stuck with you?
Was there enough variation in the music?
Would you like to hear more of my voice overlapping?
I'm excited to hear your feedback!